Philips Arena’s Luxury Suites Getting $4 Million Facelift

Ever wish you could get in on that converstation going on between coach John Anderson and Ilya Kovalchuk on the Thrashers’ bench? Well, if you’re willing to shell out the kinda money to sit in one of Philips Arena’s luxury suites, you’ll get the chance to do just that.

Philips Arena, now a decade old, will be getting some updates this summer…to the tune of $4 million. Highlighting the upgrades will be a new audio system inside of the luxury suites that will allow those occupying them to listen to the comings and goings on the benches during Thrashers and Hawks games.

According to John Manasso of the Sports Business Journal last February,”Philips Arena President Bob Williams said that the coaches of the NBA Hawks and NHL Thrashers will wear microphones and that additional microphones will be placed on the team benches. The audio will operate on a delay, and Atlanta Spirit, parent company for the teams and arena, will hire someone to delete any offensive, profane or inappropriate remarks”.

The general managers of both teams have given this their full and total approval.

92 suites in total will be renovated starting this summer and they plan on having three model suits available by mid-February.

Hockey’s Future Ranks Thrashers’ System 8th Best

Here’s some postive news about the Thrashers’ furure. HF has come out with their Organizational Rankings and the Thrashers come it at #8 in the NHL…behind St. Louis, Montreal, Nashville, LA, Columbus, Washington and Boston.

Of Atlanta’s prospects, Hockey’s Future writes that our strengths are, “a pair of top-end prospects in goalie Ondrej Pavelec and defenseman Zach Bogosian. The defensive prospect depth is solid with both offensive and defensive-minded prospects. The center position is also a point of strength, featuring Riley Holzapfel, Daultan Leveille, and John Albert. Centers Angelo Esposito and Eric O’Dell have also been added through trades”.

Of our weaknesses, ” On the wings, Spencer Machacek, and Vinny Saponari rank near the top of a relatively weak position. Depth on the left wing is especially lacking. The absence of a blue-chip forward is compounded by the question marks surrounding some of the Thrashers top forward prospects, such as Esposito and Brett Sterling”.

Hossa Not Going Anywhere?

According to Michael Farber of SI.com’s On The Fly, Marion Hossa will sign a 7-year contract with the Detroit red Wings. He expects the deal will be announced after the Finals are over and done with…(which could be as early as Thursday night).

He also doesn’t think very highly of the Canadiens hiring Jacque Martin as their new head coach.

Potvin Throws His Hat In

Speaking of Jacques Martin…his departure from south Florda leaves an opening in the Panthers general manager’s office. It’s a void that Denis Potvin would like to fill.

This morning on XM’s Hockey This Morning, Potvin told Scott Laughlin that he would welcome the challenge that would come with that job.

As you may recall, Potvin had been the color commentator for Florida Panthers television broadcasts on FS Florida from the team began in 1993 through this past season.  On May 6, 2009, it was announced that the Panthers would not renew his contract in order to save money. Former Florida Panthers’ player Bill Lindsay is slated to take over in his place.

38 comments Add your comment

R. Stroz

June 2nd, 2009
3:55 pm

WTF!

Here’s an idea Spirit Clowns: Fix the hole in the roof first. Water was leaking in during the Hawks playoff series vs. the Heat.

There goes a top tier free agent. These guys just don’t get it.

Hockeyfan

June 2nd, 2009
3:58 pm

Luxury suites story is how old?

Rawhide

June 2nd, 2009
4:01 pm

Hockeyfan – the story was put out last February…but since it’s now coming around to the time to get started on the project, I thought I’d bring it up for discussion.

Glovesave29

June 2nd, 2009
4:09 pm

I dunno, I can see a positive here…are they really going to spend $4M to improve an arena where they will only have one steady tennant? I don’t think so. They need the 80 guaranteed home dates per season from BOTH hockey and basketball to get the full value for their investment.

Brendan

June 2nd, 2009
4:13 pm

So, let me see if I’ve got this straight. If Bruce Levenson is sitting in his luxury suite, he can audio Head Coach John Anderson to say, (1) take a timeout, (2) double-shift Kovalchuk on the PP, or (3) suggest a goalie change, after Kari lets in a “softie?” That ought to be hysterical!

If I were John Anderson, I’d just ignore it, while claiming ‘technical difficulties.’ What’s the phrase that pays from STAR TREK? “I’m sorry, sir. Your transmission is breaking up.”

Tony C.

June 2nd, 2009
4:48 pm

I would like to have that audio as part of my HDTV-viewing experience for ALL games…heck, I might even pay extra for them to allow me the option on whether to leave the expletives in or not (depending on who’s watching the game with me… I’ve heard some really choice “sentence enhancers” when sitting in the cool seats-my daughter does not need to learn those just yet-if ever)-I also wonder about getting more camera positions will be part of the upgrade? If you’re going to be throwing new lines-why not allow for it to handle audio&video??

Alan

June 2nd, 2009
4:52 pm

So, let me see if I’ve got this straight

I think it’s more along the lines of Anderson wearing a mic, and fans/occupants of the luxury suites being able to tune in and hear what coach/players are saying.

Brendan

June 2nd, 2009
4:59 pm

So, the Spirit, LLC is now willing to add to the payroll, but it’s for someone to censor comments for an optional, now mandatory requirement to be “mic’d up.” Makes perfect sense to me.

Can anyone find out how much this person will be paid? When will they start taking applications for the position?

STEVE

June 2nd, 2009
5:07 pm

4 millon less they will offer kovy!

World be Free

June 2nd, 2009
5:17 pm

Nice to see our system is so highly regarded-for what it’s worth.

LAC

June 2nd, 2009
5:22 pm

Just more of the same old lame crap from the owners and waddell…

R. Stroz

June 2nd, 2009
5:41 pm

I think stendec should by the one to censor the comments. He could even add his own editorial notes, that would be worth listening to.

Crazy Ivan

June 2nd, 2009
6:05 pm

4 million for luxury suites…now I know what the fan membership fee is being used for.

uer

June 2nd, 2009
7:16 pm

sounds like the asg found something new for wilkins to do, seeing how his inept english language skills were displayed during hawks commentary. he already knows what a 10 second delay is as all b-ball players do this between foul shots.

frog

June 2nd, 2009
7:17 pm

Guess the price of arena dogs will go up a buck

Ogie Ogelthorpe

June 2nd, 2009
8:10 pm

I appreciate Philips Arena-becuase I have been to the old Boston Garden!

Tom Davis

June 2nd, 2009
8:48 pm

Bruce Levison here: DEAL WITH IT AND SHOVE IT UP YOUR ARSE

Tom

June 2nd, 2009
10:20 pm

I have to say the refs in this game are worthless. First the 6 men on the ice for 21 seconds and then the cross check to the head that was not called on the Penguins. You would think the refs were told not to call anything against the Penguins… But that never happens, does it?

LL

June 3rd, 2009
12:09 am

Crazy Ivan the fan membership has nothing to do with Atlanta Spirit. The fan club is a stand alone entity with a business license held by the fans.

Will

June 3rd, 2009
12:35 am

Ever hear of having all the facts before trying to make decisions. I think it impossible to come up with directions that the team will take w/o knowing how the owners and Waddell are thinking at this point. I think it would benefit them to clue the fans a little on what is their perspective to upgrading the team. Maybe that would generate a little more enthusiasm from the fans. Who knows?

LAC

June 3rd, 2009
4:21 am

I agree with Will, what are they HIDING ? But typical asg
stupidity in every regard, Heck levenson won’t even stand up for himself, what a COWARD.

Lastly hank aaron and Florida Panthers ???? What ? Is this a bad joke ?
Does he even know what ICE is used for other than in Ice Tea ? I doubt it ! arron has ZERO business in the NHL !

If Florida IS for sale, where are ALL the canada fans telling the NHL to move them to canada, but even more interesting WHERE are the canada buyers ???????????? Guess hockey is not so big north of the border as we thought…. Just goes toshow, you have sucess on the ice and you become more welcome to stay put !

LAC

June 3rd, 2009
4:27 am

Found this to be interesting… Why can’t the Thrashers do something like this ? But then again…. Would you want young prospects seeing bruce levenson get DRUNK and make a complete FOOL of himself, but wait a minute…. he does not have to be drunk to do that !

The projected top three selections for the June 26 draft are headed to Tampa Bay where Lightning owner Oren Koules has invited the three to dinner and a tour of the town. The trio will arrive in Tampa Bay Wednesday morning before heading home Thursday afternoon.

kracker

June 3rd, 2009
7:14 am

For anybody interesting in the Stanley Cup Finals Viewing Party this Saturday, June 6, here is the facebook event page:

http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#/event.php?eid=88944929015

It was nice of the Pens to cooperate and win last night so the game is on for Saturday.

GaVaHokie

June 3rd, 2009
8:10 am

So, the Spirit, LLC is now willing to add to the payroll, but it’s for someone to censor comments for an optional, now mandatory requirement to be “mic’d up.” Makes perfect sense to me.

Oh come on now, Brendan… we’re talking $40 a game, tops. It’ll be some intern from ITT Tech, or something. The Ice Girls will probably make more money. :)

GaVaHokie

June 3rd, 2009
8:16 am

Hmmm… a $4 million Center might buy you $1 million in season ticket holders, but a $4 million upgrade to the box suites might buy you $8 million a year in box suite purchases… tough choice. (sarcasm)

Crazy Ivan

June 3rd, 2009
8:30 am

LL, that’s known as humor.

On a serious note, the fan club obviously has SOMETHING to do with the Atlanta Spirit, otherwise, it would not be the OFFICIAL fan club. Also, if there was no affiliation with the organization, the fan club would not have known to plan the draft party at Jillians before season ticket holders were notified of the draft party site. So yes, there is some form of affiliation, or at least a great deal of coordination, between the fan club and the Thrashers organization.

I wish those of you the best of luck with the fan club.

However, I also hope the fan club doesn’t just turn into a mouthpiece for the organization. From a fan’s perspective, this organization has screwed the fans over for TOO many years. The fan club needs to maintain an independent voice which is willing to put pressure on the organization when needed and praise the organization if they prove themselves worthy.

Bob

June 3rd, 2009
9:07 am

Aren’t the ratings on Hockey’s Future done by fans just like us? I think Falconer’s wife is the one who does the Thrashers, right? How can Bogosian be considered a prospect, he’s on our club and played for us all year, that seems kind of goofy.

“which could be as early as Thursday night”

nice call there, Rawhide! The series is on. The Wings got so lucky in the 1st two games, and hopefully the refs are waking up to their constant interference all over the ice. Malkin and Crosby haven’t even gotten loose yet, this series is nowhere near over.

Rawhide

June 3rd, 2009
9:43 am

Bobwhich could be as early as Thursday night…nice call there, Rawhide! The series is on.

Technically speaking, it could have been…but Pittsburgh gets at least a return visit to Detroit for a game 5. To me, that’s a good thing, ‘cuz I’m not quite ready to see hockey season end just yet.

kracker

June 3rd, 2009
9:53 am

Bob, HF considers players to be prospects until they have 50 career NHL games. (I think 50 is their number.) Bogosian has a few games less than 50 games. Because most prospects don’t start & stay in the NHL, HF uses a set number of games before they remove the prospect tag. Usually, the guy gets a few NHL games here & there until he is either ready to stay or he is judged to be a career depth player.

Alan

June 3rd, 2009
10:32 am

Quick and dirty:

Don Waddell Front (to the tune of The Who – Eminence Front)

The sun shines
The owners forget
The spray flies as the speedboat glides
The owners forget
Forget they’re hiding
The girls smile
The owners forget
The snow packs as the skier tracks
And owners forget
Forget they’re hiding.

Behind a Don Waddell front
Don Waddell front – It’s a put on.

Come on join the team
Dress to check.
Won’t you come and join the party
Dress to score.

The drinks flow
Levenson forgets
That big wheel spins, the hair thins
Gearon forgets
Forget they’re hiding
The news slows
Seydel forgets
The shares crash, hopes are dashed
Belkin forgets
Forget they’re hiding.

Behind a Don Waddell front
Don Waddell front – it’s a put on
Come on join the team
Dress to
Come on join the team
Dress to
Come on join the team
Dress to
Come on join the team
Dress to skate
Dress yourself for the power kill.

FormerIslesFan

June 3rd, 2009
10:43 am

Just throwing this out there. This is clipped from a story on tsn.ca about the GM’s meetings:

“Waddell confirmed that he recently met with captain Ilya Kovalchuk to talk about the direction of the team and indicated that the sides will start discussing a contract extension in July.

The Russian sniper can become an unrestricted free agent next summer and the Thrashers hope to sign him long before that.”

Nothing really new there. Here is the link to the full article:

http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=280695

GaVaHokie

June 3rd, 2009
11:18 am

Thanks FIF… Darren Dreger with TSN also said there is no truth to the Hossa 7-year extension offer with the Red Wings. Detroit does not negotiate deals during the playoffs.

Hijacker

June 3rd, 2009
11:32 am

The HF’s system is flawed. Both Bogosian and Valabik will not be considered prospects next season.

I only see depth and quality in goal
I see depth at center & on defense…no quality though. We don’t have any prospect with legit Top6 upside or any Dman with top pairing upside (save for Bogosian.)

Reastically, I see Atlanta at 13 or 14.

Brendan

June 3rd, 2009
12:08 pm

See, that’s my point, Hokie. They should just hire another Ice Girl with that money. I volunteer to be on the selection committee. :)

World be Free

June 3rd, 2009
12:37 pm

Hey Tom, it would be nice if the same refs called the 1/2 dozen interference penalties Detroit is guilty of ever game. There were 2 obvious “picks” during the PP that netted the 2nd Wings’ goal.

I am not a big fan of either team, but I also cannot dismiss the obvious.

Sage of Bluesland

June 3rd, 2009
8:17 pm

Dang, Alan, now THAT was funny…I’ll never listen to that song the same way again…Thanks, for that, I think…Haha…

Ogie Oglethorpe

June 3rd, 2009
9:38 pm

Alan-pretty good break from some of the other hoggwash we’ve seen on this blog lately.

STH no more

June 5th, 2009
12:00 pm

It’s always the luxury suite side that get the improvements. Having been(totally past tense) 8 year season ticket holder, we normal people get left out all the time. Season ticket holders are more the whipping boys, instead of getting the treatment they deserve for shelling out the money to guarantee 41 home game seats. The “Club” side gets all the attention. What about letting STH’s go to the club side to get food before a game? It would probably increase revenue. Nahhh, they’d rather raise my ticket prices again, a little here and there. Last year, which I did not renew, I made my rep the offer of paying -$5.00 per seat per game over 07-08 prices, as opposed to the +$3.00 per seat per game thy were offering. Having been in the area a great deal for the 08-09 season at prices FAR lower than STH, and all the empty seats. They would’ve been smarter to take my original offer. Some old, same old!